MY BIG FAT GREEK YOGURT BOWLS – BREAKFAST

Greek yogurt or ‘the yogurt of the Gods’ is a superfood in itself with more than double the amount of protein and gut-friendly probiotics than regular yogurt.  It makes an ideal breakfast as the protein and fat content keep you fuller for longer.  I recommend using an authentic full-fat Greek yogurt such as ‘Fage Total’ which is simply milk and live active bacteria – no preservatives, no powdered milk or powdered anything!

For breakfast I like to customise my yogurt with a variety of toppings. Try fresh orange chunks with chopped 85% dark chocolate and chopped almonds, strawberries with pistachio nuts or walnut, fig and cinnamon.

Superfood Add-Ons: I don’t use the word ‘superfood’ lightly. Any food listed here has pretty hard evidence to suggest its particularly beneficial to our health. Here’s a line up of some evidence-based options….

  • Spirulina powder: a powdered blue-green algae that contains 55% to 70% protein. There is firm evidence that spirulina can improve fat (lipid) and sugar (glucose) metabolism, whilst reducing liver fat and protecting the heart! Spirulina has also been shown to reducing sneezing and stuffy nose. It can taste like pond water on its own but its great in smoothies or stirred into yogurt with a little honey and dried fruit.
  • Hulled Hemp Seeds: contain all the essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 and 9), are high in fibre and contain about 33% protein. Because of their rich nutrient profile, hemp seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease, improve skin health and reduce symptoms of PMS or Menopause, making them a great little all-rounder.
  • Raw Cacao: I love when science justifies my love of a particular food! Cacao is rich in fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous and zinc. It is listed amongst the Top 10 most nutrient dense foods on the planet and is a powerful source of antioxidants. Dig in!
  • Blueberries: Dark berries are rich in anthocyanins that have antioxidant properties found to reduce damage to our cells. They have been shown to improve memory in older people and are rich in fibre whilst having low levels of natural fruit sugars.
  • Raw Honey: A tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of sugar but it hands-down beats refined table sugars when it comes to its antioxidant content and plant compounds found in high quality honey such as Manuka honey or unpasteurised raw honey that hasn’t been exposed to heat. Go easy on serving sizes, a teaspoon should suffice!

YOU WILL NEED: Full fat plain Greek yogurt (about 125g per person) or 100g dairy-free alternative such as CoYo; a selection of nuts, seeds, nut butters, berries and ‘superfood’ add-ons.  Featured bowls…..

MANGO + SPIRULINA:

  • 125g Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp spirulina powder or Superlife Superfood Mix*
  • 1 tsp raw honey or Manuka honey
  • 1 ounce dried mango (I like ‘Crazy Jacks’ with no added sugar or preservatives such as sulphites)
  • 1/2 tbsp Nua Naturals hulled hemp seeds*

Instructions: Combine the yogurt, spirulina powder and honey to create a creamy-green consistency. Add toppings.

COCONUT YOGURT, MACA + BLUEBERRY (V)

  • 100g vanilla coconut yogurt (I use Coyo)
  • 1 teaspoon nua naturals maca powder*
  • 1 ounce coconut chips*
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Instructions: Combine the coconut yogurt and maca powder. Add toppings.

BANANA, CACAO + COCONUT BUTTER: 

  • 125g plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Nua Naturals raw cacao powder*
  • 1 tsp Nua Naturals raw cacao nibs*
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp melted coconut butter (or peanut / almond butter)*

Instructions: Combine the yogurt and cacao powder.  Add toppings.

CACAO-QUINOA-CHIA CRUNCH (more preparation required!)

To make the Cacao-Quinoa-Chia Crunch topping: in a bowl combine 40g quinoa pops, 20g chia seeds*, 35g cacao powder*, 2tbsp cacao nibs*, 40g coconut chips*. Melt 6 tbsp coconut oil* with 4 tbsp maple syrup and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread onto a baking tray and let set in the fridge until hard and crumbly. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 10x 40g servings.  Serve sprinkled over your Greek yogurt or as a cereal with your favourite nut milk (I like hazelnut milk for this).

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Option Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre
Mango + Spirulina 275 7g 15g 43g 21g 1g
Vanilla Coyo, Blueberry + Maca 367 30g 5g 19g 11g 5g
Banana, Cacao + Coconut Butter 318 19.4g 13g 24.1g 14g 4.1g
Cacao Quinoa Crunch 278 18g 14g 17g 10g 3g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

 

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LEMON & MACA CHIA POTS – SNACK

Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses with an abundance of essential fatty acids, protein and fibre. In fact they are the highest source of fibre of all seeds containing 5g per serving!  Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet can help to regulate blood sugar, keeps your gut healthy and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

This magical seed is also incredibly versatile and can be used in porridge, smoothies or as chia pudding or snack pots that are both satisfying and portable, so you can take them to the office or pack them in a kid’s lunchbox.

There is nothing better than vibrant citrus to invigorate the senses and counter the affects of the afternoon slump. I created this superfood snack-pot with maca powder for a nourishing boost. Maca is considered an ‘adaptogen’, as it can help the body to naturally adapt to stressors such as a demanding job, a busy schedule or intense physical exercise. Instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or biscuit tin during a sluggish afternoon, try this ultra-low sugar snack and sail through the rest of your day!

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Chia Bia whole chia seeds*
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 100ml almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nua Naturals Vanilla powder*
  • 1 teaspoon Nua Naturals Maca powder*
  • 1-2 heaped tablespoon plain greek yogurt (or plain coconut yogurt)
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia (optional)
  • Coconut flakes (optional)

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

Instructions

  1. Pour the chia seeds into a a container with a lid (I use a glass jam jar) and add the lemon juice and almond milk and stir.
  1. Add the vanilla and maca, fasten the lid and shake vigorously and then leave aside for 30 minutes (or overnight) to thicken.
  1. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the yogurt and stevia drops. Divide the mixture into two small glass pots and sprinkle with the lemon zest and some coconut flakes.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 Serving)
Calories 159
Fat (g) 10.4
Protein (g) 5
Carbohydrate (g) 11.8
Fibre (g) 5.5
Sugar (g) 1.2

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

OVERNIGHT BUCKWHEAT WITH RASPBERRIES & COCONUT – BREAKFAST

We are super excited to announce that Nutritional Therapist Pamela Ryan is back with LloydsPharmacy for our FREE 8 week Change Your Health Direction Programme, which kicks off this January! ‘The Healthonist’ will be providing us with 3 deliciously nutritious recipes each week (breakfast, snack, lunch/dinner) to keep us on track and away from the temptations we got all too comfortable with in December…

Oh January! The Prosecco-fuelled breakfasts of the Christmas holidays by now seem like a distant memory as most of us look to the year ahead with new vigour and determination. One of the most positive things you can do for your health is to start each day with a balanced meal of protein, fats and carbohydrates but unfortunately most breakfasts are top-heavy when it comes to carbohydrates and sugar.

This recipe is a slight departure from ‘overnight oats’ or bircher muesli and is bursting with nutrient-rich seeds – buckwheat, flaxseed and chia seeds.  Whilst most people think of buckwheat as a grain, it is in fact a protein and fibre-rich seed that can help prevent diabetes and despite its name, buckwheat doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten.

Chia and flaxseeds provide an extra ‘hit’ of protein, fibre and essential fats which increase satiety between meals and stabilise blood sugar.  Soaking overnight in a combination of citrus (orange) and water helps to break the seeds down, so they’re easily digested nutrient absorption is maximised!

This recipe makes two servings. Sometimes I’ll double the recipe to last me a few days. If you use glass jars with an airtight lid you can store them in the fridge and grab them on your way out to work on busy mornings.

For the ‘Overnight Buckwheat’ you will need:

  • 3 heaped tablespoons of buckwheat flakes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of milled flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Bia Whole Chia Seeds*
  • A pinch of Nua Naturals Vanilla Powder*
  • Juice of 1 whole orange
  • 3/4 cup water, almond or coconut milk (I used water)

For Serving you will need:

  • 125g fresh raspberries (blackberries will also work)
  • A pinch of Nua Naturals Vanilla Powder*
  • 125g Coconut yogurt or plain greek yogurt
  • Toasted coconut flakes (or flaked almonds)
  • Two small glasses or airlock jars

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

STEP BY STEP

The night before:

  1. In a bowl combine the buckwheat, flaxseeds, chia seeds and vanilla powder. Stir in the orange juice and your choice of liquid (I used water).
  1. Cover and leave in fridge overnight.

In the morning:

  1. In a bowl mash the raspberries with a fork and stir in a pinch of vanilla powder. You should get a jam-like consistency.
  1. Spoon half of the raspberry mixture into the base of the two glasses, reserving the other half for topping.
  1. Spoon a tablespoon of yogurt into each glass.
  1. Remove the buckwheat from the fridge and give it a good stir. Then divide the mixture between the two glasses.
  1. To finish spoon the remaining raspberry mixture and yogurt on top of the buckwheat and sprinkle the top of each with a tablespoon of toasted coconut flakes.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 Serving)
Using Coconut Milk Yogurt (CoYo) Using Fage Total Greek Yogurt (full fat)
Calories 442 365
Fat (g) 27.4 17.4
Protein (g) 9 13
Carbohydrate (g) 45 46
Fibre (g) 9.3 9.3
Sugar (g) 15 16
Gluten-Free. Grain-Free. High Protein. High Fibre. Essential Fatty Acids.

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

Change Your Health Direction: ‘The Fat Truth’

avrilThroughout the Change Your Health Direction (CYHD) programme I have noticed that many people have a completely misguided perception about fats! Through powerful advertising, we have been conditioned to believe that if we want to lose weight we should avoid fat and the ‘low-fat’ diet industry thrives on this. Fat-free and low-fat products are everywhere but they are most often not the healthiest option and can actually hinder weight loss and affect our health in the long term.

Firstly, fat-free and low-fat products are often full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and other ‘nasties’ to help compensate for the lack of fat. The sugar is then just converted into fat in the body anyway and, as the product is far less satiating due to the lack of fats, we need to eat a lot more of these foods to feel full! It is true that we need to avoid certain fats in order to achieve optimum weight and health, those being saturated fats and trans fats. These can be found in vegetable oils, pastries, biscuits, fried foods, confectionery etc.

However, eating the right types of fats is crucial for optimum health! ‘Essential fatty acids’ are fats that our bodies need in order to function normally; they cannot be manufactured in the body so we must include them in our diets. They are the building blocks that the body uses to manufacture hormones and cell membranes, as well as having a natural anti-inflammatory effect which can help to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. They can also protect us against heart disease and stroke as they play a role in thinning the blood. The list of benefits is endless and low levels have been linked with numerous psychiatric disorders (as well as many other chronic conditions) including depression so fats really can help make you happy! I just cannot stress the importance of these good fats enough; cutting them out of your diet will be detrimental to your long term health.

The two main essential fatty acids that need to be included in your diet are omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The typical western diet usually supplies us with sufficient quantities of omega-6 fatty acids as they are found in meat, dairy produce and eggs so they are not usually cause for concern. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. Avocados, nuts and nut butters are other ways to increase our intake of healthy fats and they are incredibly tasty and satisfying.

I always recommend the inclusion of a high quality omega-3 supplement where possible and we have some great products at LloydsPharmacy, my favourite being Revive Active Krill Oil. This is a high quality form of omega-3 fatty acids because they are sourced from a pure environment, in a sustainable and traceable manner and naturally contain a powerful anti-oxidant called astaxanthin which helps to protect the quality of the oil. They are much more readily absorbed by the body, compared to other omega-3 supplements and there is no fishy after-taste or reflux associated with them. Overall they are a very worthwhile investment in your long-term health! Check out the range of Krill Oil Products on our website or speak to any of our in-store colleagues for information on which product is best for you.

And finally, just in relation to cooking with fats – always use a heat-stable fat such as coconut oil, preferably organic and unrefined. Other fats such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil should not be used at high temperatures as they are converted to free radicals which can have massive health implications!

Written by Avril Reilly, Pharmacist and Change Your Health Direction coach in LloydsPharmacy Carlow.

Essential Fatty Acids – The Good Fats

Have you heard of essential fatty acids – “The Good fats”? But most importantly how great they are for you? I recently discovered just how fantastic these guys are while studying nutritional coaching with the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Omega_3_heart_webPeople are always afraid of the word fat but fats in the form of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) (polyunsaturated fats) are essential for our health and wellbeing and most people are simply just not getting enough of them because of over processed diets and one indicator that people are not getting enough of EFA’s in their diet is the rise in depression and cardiovascular disease.

So without getting to tech savvy let’s break down the how and the why of these fats; “Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. The term “essential fatty acid” refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel”. Only two fatty acids are known to be essential for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).

EFAs support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. The human body needs EFAs to manufacture and repair cell membranes. A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, conception, and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection

EFA deficiency and Omega 6/3 imbalance is linked with serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, cancer, insulin resistance, asthma, lupus, schizophrenia, depression, stroke, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s Disease, among others.

So how do we get these good guys into our diet?
Omega 3 – Flax seed oil hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, avocados, some dark leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, collards, etc.) salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, albacore tuna, and others.

Findings show omega-3 fish oil may help to:
• Lower blood pressure
• Reduce triglycerides
• Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
• Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm
• Reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
• Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease
• Improved Brain Function

Omega 6 – Flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, hempseeds, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds (raw), olive oil, olives, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, chestnut oil, chicken, among many others.

4020061_Eskimo_3_With_Vitamin_E_250CapsAs most of us are not getting enough essential fatty acids in our daily diets there is an excellent supplement called Eskimo – 3, it is 100% natural omega 3 and to get fish as fresh as those used in these capsules you would have to go down to your local harbour and meet your local fisherman every day!!!. They are ISO certified and it is the only naturel fish oil that has been authorised as a natural remedy in Sweden. This means that it meets the same high standards for production and quality that are set for conventional medicines.

Studies related to Omega 3 – Dyslexia affects more than 2500 families in Ireland and just like ADD, people with dyslexia have a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood lipids. Supplementation with Omega 3 should reduce this problem.

Vital for retinal development and maintenance – Several studies show that Omega 3 can help protect adult eyes from macular degeneration (Leading cause of blindness in older people) and dry eye syndrome

  • Eskimo 3 lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL
  • Eskimo 3 Lowers triglycerides
  • Eskimo 3 improves blood circulation
  • Joint Health and inflammation – Natural anti-inflammatory and increases synovial fluid around the joints – increase flexibility.
  • Can be used for skin conditions such as, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis and acne

Written by Nichola